Method 1: Manual copy
I manually copied F:\PHOTOS\ to D:\PHOTOS\. I then manually copied the catalog to the new PC's C: partition and configured PSE to point to this catalog. This part seemed to work - PSE Organizer picked up all the file names from this catalog but unfortunately was "smart enough" to link to the F:\ location (even though it was the C: drive on the old computer). I thought (remembered?) the reconnect feature to be much smarter than it apparently is, and it seems it would take days to reconnect my files to the proper D: location.
The reason Organizer could relink to the F: location is that the drive is identified in the database by the drive serial number.
You are right, the reconnect feature in V9 is akward and may need some time.
You have probably read these Adobe papers, but I think the links may be useful to other forum readers:
http://help.adobe.com/en_US/elementsorganizer/using/WSae2ea3b149d0c3591ae939f103860b3d59-7 f59_WIN.html (useful for new PSE11 users)
To help reconnecting, you may start with the auto-reconnect and do as indicated in the help file:
"You can interrupt an auto-reconnect and browse for the file using the Reconnect Missing Files dialog box. This dialog box is useful if you want Elements Organizer to look for missing files in a particular folder."
That way, you can browse to the master folder and have all its subfolders reconnected.
Edit also see:
Method 2: Backup and Restore
My old PC is gone. But I figured I could just configure PSE to point to the original catalog on the F drive since, as method #1 showed, PSE was smart enough to link all the files as well. I'd then just do a full catalog backup to an external drive, then a restore to the new D: drive. However, when I try this, the backup gets about 80% complete then fails with a non-descript error.
This is normally the best way to do the transfer. But you have met a rather common situation where the backup stops at a fixed % of the process.
There may be several reasons for such 'freezes'. Here is an example :
It's difficult to know what is the reason, but from other posts in this forum, it seems that the most common one is the presence of 'problem' media files, corrupted or unrecognized (particularly video files). Other reasons : permission rights, incorrect file names or extensions. If the solutions in the above link don't work, the search for the 'offending' files can be a long process of trials and errors in which you try the backup after having removed selected files from the catalog.
OK, I was able to backup and restore my catalog. The process I followed was:
1) Re-connected or removed all files that were not connected.
2) Optimized and repaired the catalog
3) Attempted backup, and it still failed
4) After reading that sometimes corrupt files or certain video files caused failures, I focused on this. Since I could easily identify video files, I decided to focus on this first.
5) As part of #4, I decided to move all video files into a separate folder so I could easily re-add them later if needed. My thought was that if I removed all video files from the catalog, I could re-attempt the backup. If it worked, I'd know some video file(s) was the problem. My attempted 'move' also failed, but this time I had the benefit of seeing exactly where it failed. I was able to identify the last folder it successfully copied, and in that folder was a video file that had an unknown codec.
6) Based on results in #5, I suspected the unknown codec files were the problem. I found all video files in the Catalog that didn't have a preview thumbnail and confirmed that those were encoded with a codec that Elements didn't like. I removed each of those from the catalog.
7) I re-tried the backup, and it worked successfully.
So, the short story is that by looking at the catalog for videos missing thumbnails, I was able to find video files with codecs that Adobe didn't like. By removing those, the backup was able to be completed.
Thanks for the help!